The road to the Academy Awards too often turns the ceremony into a preordained affair, with a parade of critics groups, press associations and industry guilds handing out so many prizes that the Oscar night winners come as little surprise. But when Kumail Nanjiani and Tracee Ellis Ross unveiled the nominations Tuesday, there were more than a few nods that changed the shape of the race. Here are five takeaways from the nominations for the 91st Oscars ceremony, which airs Feb. 24 on ABC.
‘Roma’ is the favorite to win best picture
“Roma’s” momentum began with Alfonso Cuaron’s best director win at the Golden Globes and continued with a best picture triumph at the Critics’ Choice Awards. Now, the Netflix drama is tied for the most Oscar nominations with 10. That includes somewhat unexpected nods for Yalitza Aparicio (lead actress) and Marina de Tavira (supporting actress), indicating support from actors — the Academy’s largest voting bloc.
‘A Star Is Born’ and ‘Green Book’ slid …
While “A Star Is Born” picked up a best picture nomination, along with acting nods for Bradley Cooper, Lady Gaga and Sam Elliott, Cooper’s absence from the directing category shows this movie isn’t the awards juggernaut many expected. Although “Green Book” got a best picture win from the Producers Guild last weekend, the snub here of director Peter Farrelly lowers that film’s odds as well.
… while ‘Vice’ and ‘The Favourite’ surged
“The Favourite” now looks like the film most likely to challenge “Roma” for best picture. The period dramedy grabbed 10 nominations of its own, including best director for Yorgos Lanthimos and acting nods for Olivia Colman, Rachel Weisz and Emma Stone. Also consider “Vice,” which has a directing nod for Adam McKay and acting honors for Christian Bale, Amy Adams and Sam Rockwell among its eight nominations.
‘Black Panther’ had a strong day (mostly)
Joining “Roma,” “A Star Is Born,” “Green Book,” “The Favourite” and “Vice” in the best picture field are “BlacKkKlansman,” “Bohemian Rhapsody” and “Black Panther,” which became the first comic book film nominated for the award. The Marvel movie picked up seven nominations, though snubs for best director, adapted screenplay and visual effects are signs it’s not going to win best picture.
‘First Man’ was dealt the biggest snubs
“First Man” struggled this awards season, but snubs for its score and supporting actress Claire Foy still surprised. Although “First Reformed” got a screenplay nod, Ethan Hawke was a conspicuous absence from the best actor list. Despite landing two Screen Actors Guild nods, Emily Blunt wasn’t recognized for “Mary Poppins Returns” or “A Quiet Place.” And “If Beale Street Could Talk” was the biggest best picture omission.